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RE: [jox] Re: Peer Review

Hi Stefan, all

Commenting on some of Stefan's points.

"Reinventing academic publishing online. Part I: Rigor, relevance and
practice" by Brian Whitworth and Rob Friedman.
First Monday, Volume 14, Number 8 - 3 August 2009

A nice article indeed (though I did not real all of it). The good
thing about our journal is that it doesn't come from the academic
tradition and thus has not necessarily to align to the tradition
outlined in the paper.

M: Well, we want to have high scientific standards for research papers,

4 days ago Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
Thanks also for comments - OK, I like the idea of being open to
less-fully formed ideas: there could be a different format for
submissions for example. "Working papers"? That would be a definite
plus in terms of attracting submissions.  (Though I would not want
to stop more developed pieces from being submitted as well.
"Research papers"?).

Why not have different sections in the journal? One for rather
established stuff and one for the bleeding edge? If articles are
flagged this way by the editorial board then it is clear what we
publish because we think it is well established and what is published
although we think it could have / has sharp edges.


4 days ago Mathieu O'Neil wrote:
So they advocate opening up the review process (reviews would become
so reviewers would get some recognition) while maintaining its blindness
(the identity of the author is secret during the review process). However
how this would work will only be revealed in Part II - when will this come
out? Next month perhaps. 

Would be interesting to read indeed.

M: I am thinking about writing to get an advance copy.

Now, this is a complex issue. For example, I have published very few
articles in peer-reviewed journals. Pretty close to zero. I am working on
two papers right now. They are important to me, the result of several
of thinking. I know I could (perhaps should) do the noble thing and send
or both to an Internet-based journal. But deep down I feel that I would
the validation that only an established journal can give. When I have
published one or two papers like that - showing that I can do it - then I
would submit to open-access journals. I think a lot of emerging academics
think like that - or they can't afford not to think like that if they want
to get a job in this super-competitive environment.

I can well imagine this way of thinking. But as you probably agree
this is totally alienated from having a good journal. The question to
me is whether we want to deal with this at all.

In a nutshelll: we need some incentives for people to publish with us. 

There is already an incentive: Help the progress of mankind. Isn't
this enough?

M: Well, you are speaking from the perspective of someone outside the
academic world. That's fine. But the reality is that in the academic world
people do things for hybrid reasons - ie for the good of all, but also to be
survive. Because they get "paid" (in prestige) for publishing useful

Here are some random thoughts.

1- We could encourage people to submit papers that have already been
published in a closed journal - that way they would reach a new audience
get more feedback.

2- For this we need good reviewers and good comments. There could be a
system where open discussion on a list leads to editorial comments being
appended to papers. Not sure. I don't think we should rely on "anyone can
comment" to do this job - no-one may comment or comments may be mediocre.

3- There needs to be some clear guidelins for an open comment process:
-- closed editorial list / closed registration process?
-- deadlines for comments to be made?

I think it's not either-or. IMHO it would be best to have some
appointed reviewers for a certain review doing an open review
published on the web. In addition we can open the review for
suggestions from the general public but these are just to help the
reviewers who are still responsible for the review.

Also with the general public being able to support the review process
we have a chance to attract new staff: People regularly supporting the
review process by useful comments could be asked to become official

M: Why not, see how we go!



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